Writing: waiting for the story

There are some authors who believe that writing is therapy or bloodletting; basically turning it into some form of catharsis or other. We’ve all seen the memes that warn not to piss a writer off because you will be in their next novel or that the writer has opened their veins while writing a particular piece. I’ve gone to therapy for that stuff and only let the lab technician draw blood for my annual check-ups. That doesn’t mean that my stories and many others I read don’t capture the essence of life itself, it just means that we are storytellers of maybe a different kind.

This morning, as I washed the breakfast dishes, I had the image of a young girl and her mother talking in that strained way adolescents and moms often have. I saw the rambling house they live in that was the shell that encapsulated said girl’s profound loneliness. A few moments into this reverie, I remembered a story I began writing a couple of years ago that went into my ‘silent file.’ The characters, it seems, are no longer silent but beginning to tell me the rest of their story. I know I have the original piece in one of my handy flash drives on my desk somewhere.

This is how Covering the Sun with My Hand was written. It started out as “The Eviction” and didn’t go anywhere until I put it away awhile and the protagonist, Julia Acevedo, woke me up here in this same house. It was on another morning that I was feeling serene and all right with my world and what I do in it. I’m not angry with my mother, or my children. I’m not proving anything today. I just am, just for today. I may be those other things tomorrow but today I’m not. I think this is why the story and the main characters are reaching out to me again. I think that I’ll temporarily name this one, “Just before the Miracle,” because that is how I’ve experienced the process of storytelling- waiting for something that might all ready be happening. I’ll keep you guys posted. I’m going to dry the dishes now.

4 Replies to “Writing: waiting for the story”

  1. Hi T, I love this & totally relate. Earlier this year a story/book idea suggested itself, with its title and some of its characters. I had two papers to write, so I didn’t write anything down, and told myself that when I was free to do so, I would begin to write it. I began the day before Thanksgiving and have worked on it bit as I’ve been able.
    I’m proud of you and your hardwon successes, and I’m happy to say, I knew you when. I hope we are in the same spot long enough to reconnect one of these days. All the best! Feliz Navidad to you both, S

    1. Hi S, We were talking about how much we miss you two last evening! Glad to hear that you are finding time with your busy practice and papers to stay with the storytelling! The process is so much fun and lends balance to our worlds. You can say you knew me when I was so very anxious that I might never become an author. We have both come a long way! Love to you and Steve. Happy holidays!

  2. We never know when those voices decide to ambush us. Since the last time we were together and we spoke about Adrian and Flor, Adrian keeps chatting away here and there. This morning he was talking up a storm, and I tried to ignore him. As I left my house and began walking to the store, parked in front of the building, was a nice black Mustang. I hurried my steps while telling myself, need to speak to Theresa and see what is Flor up to! Cuidate and my best to Pat!

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